The question about the best lighting to add to a truck comes up every year. We look at some of the most recent suggestions for a 2017 Ram 1500. LED lights have really changed some of the discussions because of the strength and quality of light that they throw. It is important to not misuse the new LED lights because you can blind on-coming traffic.
Members of a popular Ram Truck forum updated their recommendations, because of some of the changes in after-market lighting. Many truck owners now go with light bars that either mount across the top of the vehicle or smaller ones that fit inside the grill.
Choose lights for your needs
As you are deciding, it is important to look at the total light thrown by the lights or the bar of lights. Distance is one thing to consider but also the width of the band of light. If you are truly going offroad you need to see what is around the front of your truck. You may choose differently if you are lighting for distance.
A Ram owner, named Nautique, says he has had luck with these vendors in the past. “I personally really like the KC Flex because you can create whatever size you want. The Rigid Industries E-series is super nice too.”
BC, from California, says he really likes the power of his LED lights. “With all four of my 5" 18W 1440 lumen LEDS on I can light up a mountain (just angle em differently).”
Spam disagrees with the rush toward LED lighting. He likes halogens. “For light that travels into the distance, reflects off distant objects and returns back to my eyes I'll take a halogen lighting profile any day. Lots of long wavelengths, very little glare, lots of down-the-road illumination without the local glare closing my irises. Watts are cheap, I have an alternator cranking out more watts than I need for illumination anyway. Personally I'm a fan of PIAA's driving lights (520) because that's what I've had the best experience with.”
Another big question is the noise associated with a light bar on top of the truck. In the old days, the additional lights added significant wind noise. Master says that hasn’t really changed. “My buddy's got a 50" one on his Ford, it’s really noisy at anything above 30mph. At highway speed to talk back and forth you pretty well have to yell at each other. His is the straight one, not sure if a curved would make any difference.”
In the various responses, we heard recommendations for KC Flex, Rigid Industries and Vision X.
Extra lighting draws extra power
Remember that many found that the lights draw excessive amounts of power. You may need to upgrade your battery to handle the extra load. Hemi says he will be checking out various options. “Will be testing the factory lighting this October. Probably looking to fix shortcomings shortly thereafter. Will be looking for the best lighting available, factory dual alternators allow me a lot of leeway for power consumption. Wiring and switch limits are making themselves known.” The snazzy lighting doesn’t help you much if it leaves you with a dead battery.